November 20, 2017
Fresh white turnips

Types of Turnips and Rutabagas

by Berkeley Wellness  

Turnips come in an astonishing range of shapes and sizes, depending on the age and variety.

The most common varieties are round or shaped like a top, and have a creamy-white skin that shades to purple or reddish-pink or green at the top.

Rutabagas are considerably larger than most turnips. Their skin is tan, with a dark purple band at the crown, and they have an irregular shape. They have firm yellow flesh, and a strong, sweet flavor.

You may be able to find turnips or rutabagas by one of the varietal names listed here at a farmers’ market, but supermarkets usually label these root vegetables simply as “turnips” and “rutabagas.”

Types of turnips

  • Amber globe: Unlike typical top-shaped turnips, this type of turnip is round and has yellow skin. It has sweet, pale yellow flesh.
  • Baby bunch turnips: These small marble-sized turnips are white with firm white flesh. Their flavor is like a combination of apple and radish.
  • Golden ball (orange jelly): This variety has sweet, bright-orange flesh and is occasionally available at farmers’ markets.
  • Purple top: This is the most common turnip available and the one that most people are used to seeing in the supermarket. Purple top turnips have white skin and a bright purple crown and mild white flesh.
  • White globe: These round turnips are completely white, without the typical purple top of other turnips. The flesh is sweet and mild.

Types of rutabagas

  • American purple top rutabaga: This is the most common rutabaga. It is, as its name suggests, purple at the crown and yellow below.
  • Ruta-Bits rutabaga: This small variety of rutabaga comes to the market un-waxed. They are thin-skinned and don’t need to be peeled.